Summer is approaching and you’re hoping to go au natural, when it comes to your beauty routine that is.  If you’re tired of emptying your pockets on store-brought brands or starting to feel like something just isn’t right with the ingredients you’re using – your skin is becoming irritated, you’re sneezing a lot, your breakouts are getting worse – perhaps it’s time for a switch.  Here are a few simple ingredients you can stock in your cupboards – most so natural they can double for use in your next meal.

Essential Oils. Any scents will do!  Whichever ones smell the yummiest, of course.

Coconut Oil. This natural miracle worker promotes digestive health and will fine tune your overall appearance.  Cooking with it helps the heart and it has long been used as an ingredient in a variety of beauty products.  It doesn’t have to take second-seat to others, either.  Coconut oil works wonders all on its own.

Sweet Almond Oil. Almonds in their natural state contain healthy fats, fiber, protein, magnesium and vitamin E.  Health benefits include lower blood sugar levels, reduced blood pressure and lower cholesterol levels.  They can also reduce hunger and promote weight loss.  Beauty-wise, the oil form is great for removing debris from deep within skin pores, which, along with the nut’s high vitamin A content, could prevent acne outbreaks.

Beeswax. None of yours, right?  Wrong!  This natural substance leave in the comb has many beauty benefits, such as moisturizing and treating inflamed skin – psoriasis and eczema – healing dry, cracked lips and reducing stretch marks.

Goat’s Milk Soap. Goat’s milk is high in calcium and contains more nutrients than cow’s milk.  In soap form, it’s another wonderful solution for dry or inflamed skin.

Avocado Oil. Avocados are protein-packed and contain more potassium than bananas.  The oil is rich in vitamin E, which helps with nail, skin and hair health.  It smooths skin, nourishes and helps to grow hair, and doesn’t come with an overwhelming scent, making it allergy-friendly.

There are a few simple at-home concoctions made with these easy-to-find ingredients that will have you tossing your store brought bottles – not your money – out the window!

 Homemade hand and body lotion. Just 8 oz of coconut oil and 2 oz beeswax is all it takes.  Melt them together in a saucepan, add a scent with essential oils if desired, and pour the mixture into silicone molds to cool before storing in an empty bottle.

 Facial cleanser.  1-4 oz bar of goat’s milk soap and 1.5 cups of water work together to effectively cleanse the skin.  Grate soap with a cheese grater, then combine with water in a pan until the shavings are dissolved.  As the mixture cools, it will reduce and developing into a gel-like texture.  Stir it with a spoon, eliminating any bubbles, and scoop the finished product into a container with a pump at the top so it can be easily dispensed.

Face Moisturizer. 2 Tbsp of coconut oil and 5-15 drops of either almond or avocado oil mixed together makes for a great moisturizer.  Heat the coconut oil until melted, remove from heat, and add the second oil.  Allow to cool, stirring until smooth.  Then, store in a sealed container.

Makeup Remover. Many of us may remember the days of baby oil doubling as a remover, and while this does work, there’s a slight alternative that’s even better – just 2 cups of sweet almond, avocado or coconut oil will do the trick.  That’s it.  Massage gently onto face and voila!

A quick reminder that any ingredients to be eaten should be separated out before releasing the mad scientist within and prepping your bathroom necessities.  Then, when your work station is ready, enjoy the simplicity of making from scratch something your skin will love.  Be sure to check out these recipes and more at on Real Simple’s site.